Researchers often have an expectation that everything in an archives will be digital and accessible online. Although digitization is a significant priority for many archives, including Northern BC Archives, the opposite is the truth -- only a small percentage of archival holdings are available digitally and online. Physical archival holdings are massive in comparison and professional digitization is very expensive, very time consuming, and often comes with challenging rights issues. Only a few (very well funded) archives across the world have the ability and intention to fully digitize their holdings.
What does that mean for you, as a researcher seeking primary sources about Northern BC history?
We have listed a few online resource portals below that include digitized archival and rare publications relating to Northern BC. Other digitized archival primary sources can be found by searching the online databases of individual archives with Northern BC holdings.
The Northern BC Digital Collection, a digital initiative of UNBC Library's Northern BC Archives & Special Collections, provides access to digitized publications pertaining to Northern BC history, culture, and industrial development.
Includes rare books, reports, pamphlets, maps, newspapers, and more.
UBC Open Collections, a digital initiative of the UBC Library, include digital photos, books, newspapers, maps, videos, theses and more. These locally-created digital collections document a diverse range of people and places, activities and events, and serve as a resource for students, historians, genealogists, and other researchers. Most of this content has been digitized from material held at the Library, including Rare Books & Special Collections (RBSC). RBSC acquires archival materials which document the economic, political, cultural, labour, and literary history of British Columbia and Canada as well as the history of UBC. Archival material which is born digital or digitized is included in Open Collections.
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